Time Travel to the Coney Island Boardwalk

The Coney Island Boardwalk has been delighting children of all ages since 1923.

In its heyday, the Boardwalk was a wonderland of  penny arcades, fortune tellers, hot dogs and roller coasters.

It was the place to spend a summer’s day: to swim, relax, flirt, play and be seen.

The main pier on the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York City
The main pier on the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York City


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The Boardwalk is surrounded by housing developments


the Coney Island Boardwalk Today

Located in Brooklyn, New York, the 2.51 mile long Boardwalk flanks the Atlantic Ocean.

While the shine may have faded, Coney Island remains a wonderful place to spend a summer day.

Arcade addicts can still rack up tickets and exchange them for little plastic toys.

Baseball fans can catch a Brooklyn Cyclones game.

Aquatic animal enthusiasts can visit the aquarium.

And thrill seekers can choose between the historic Cyclone or the Boardwalk’s newest roller coaster: the 125-foot tall Thunderbolt.


The historic Coney Island Cyclone
The historic Coney Island Cyclone


The Thunderbolt
Up close and personal with the Thunderbolt


My mom grew up a few blocks away

The Coney Island Boardwalk has a special place in my family’s heart.

My mother, Bonnie, spent her summers splashing in the ocean and playing in the amusement park. Naturally, this meant that I grew up hearing all her wonderful memories.

I even got to visit the Boardwalk a few times as a kid. However, it wasn’t the safest place in the 1980s; so, I prefer to focus on her childhood memories instead of mine. :)


Coney Island
The Thunderbolt is Coney Island’s newest attraction – a high-speed rollercoaster


The Wonder Wheel and Cyclone in 2006
The Wonder Wheel and Cyclone in 2006


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A playground on the beach


Memories of Coney Island in the 1950s

I asked my mom to share some of her favorite Boardwalk memories with you… and this is what she wrote.

. . .



“If I have to decide which part of my childhood Coney Island experience stands out the most it was the Penny Arcade as it was called then. When I was growing up every Penny Arcade anywhere had Skee Ball and the Penny Arcade in Coney Island was no exception.

I was passionate about the game and had my own method of getting more points; which I won’t reveal here. (Maybe if you twist my arm.) Then if you won enough points there were the prizes; which at the time seemed to be quite wondrous.

. . .


The fortune telling lady in her glass booth bobbed around when you put in your coin and when she stopped shaking her head and laughing a card came out with your “own special fortune.” She was a wonder to the eyes.

. . .


The Wonder Wheel which is one of the last remnants of the Coney Island that I knew swung back and forth as you sat in the car high above.

There was a ride below that had a pool of water and I was sure that the swinging car would swing so violently that it would break off from the Wonder Wheel and crash into the water and I would of course die a watery death.

. . .


I remember Nathan’s in the winter and the little room around the side that was their version of a dining room. The french fries then were super special. A recent trip to Nathan’s when I, of course, had to have the French fries, did not match my gustatory memory.

. . .


Steeplechase was world famous and I got to be a part of that history. It was a sad day for the world when it finally closed. There were some pretty special rides and attractions in the park; one of which was this unbelievably long wooden slide which when you ventured to go down on it inevitably gave you wood burn on your elbows.

Lots of photos and videos tell you about Steeplechase, but I thought I would throw in the personal elbow tidbit.”

. . .


Bonnie Worthman Goodman is both the world’s best mom AND an amazing artist. The tall color etching above is her work.

Click here to see more of her paintings and art


With my mom and my wife in Coney Island - November, 2014
With my mom and my wife in Coney Island – November, 2014


My mom did this one - it's a digital manipulation of skeeball machines on Coney Island
My mom did this one – it’s a digital manipulation of skeeball machines on Coney Island


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During the summertime, the Coney Island beach is covered in sunbathers, umbrellas and families


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Pigeons reign supreme on the Boardwalk

Coney Island – on instagram

During a recent visit to the Coney Island Boardwalk, I posted a bunch of camera phone photos to instagram. These are a few highlights.

Want to see more? Follow me on Instagram – I post daily updates of beautiful life.


No visit to Coney Island is complete without a Nathans frankfurter

the Thunderbolt rollercoaster

My mom: the photographer

Where is your favorite boardwalk in the world?